Editor’s Note: This post is an updated version of the post titled “The Proper Way to Open Up a Brand New Package of Pens” that was published on The Pensive Penner on September 27, 2016. This version addresses a number of updates recommended by the advisor for this project including copy edits and hinting at why this post matters in regards to the opening of pens.
We’ve all been there. You’ve just splurged at your local art supply store and you can’t wait to open your brand new pens. Then it happens. You look down at the packaging and the realization comes over you that you have no way of actually opening your treasure. Wrapped in a combination of plastic and cardboard, there’s nothing you can do to bypass Hell’s gates. You didn’t buy scissors and you don’t have a knife on you, so what was even the point of going to the art store? This is 2016, people. This tragic story must end, and I have your final chapter.
To get into the right mindset, I went out and bought three packs of new pens (well, two packs of pens and a pack of pencils (I needed them, I apologize, please forgive me)), pictured below. Then I took two different types of pens and went to work, using my pre-owned pens to open my new digs. An account of my journey with instructions and graphics can be seen in the remainder of the post.
The Pens (Opened)
- Pilot G-2 1.0, packaged in cardboard on the back and plastic on the front.
- Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip, packaged in plastic (with cardboard inside, which didn’t affect the opening).
- Dixon Ticonderoga HB 2 Soft (pencils), packaged in all cardboard.
The Pens (Used to Open)
- Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine Point
- Bic Clic Stic Pen (Yes, I too hate the name. Here’s what they forgot: k, k.)
Pilot G-2 1.0 (cardboard and plastic)
To start things off, I tested out each opener on my first package, that of the Pilot G-2 1.0 pens.
As seen in the pictures, the Pilot Precise V5 had some trouble breaking through the cardboard. I had to figure out the right angle and amount of force to apply to get it into the package, which took multiple stabs, as is visible.
Once in, not much changed. It was clear that I would be unable to use the nib on the Precise V5 to continue to open the G-2 packaging. In fact, once I gave up, I found that the Precise V5 nib had been bent due to the strength of the G-2 packaging (sending it to pen hospital, I’ll keep everyone updated).
After the failed attempt with the V5, I gave the G-2’s packaging a go with the Bic Clic Stic Pen (BCS for short).
The BCS, owning a rounder, more blunt nib, took a little more force to break the packaging, but once in, tore right through the cardboard encasing the Pilot G-2’s. See below for the action shots.
Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip (plastic)
Packaged entirely in plastic (excepting the inner cardboard layer, which affected nothing), the Bic Ultra Round was much easier to open using the V5. The small, precise nib stuck through the wrapping almost immediately and made a smooth cut to open the entire package.
The BCS was much harder to use to open the Bic Ultra Round. Because of the less pointed nib, it was hard to get it to stab through the plastic, but once some tension was released it burst through the plastic. Unlike the V5, however, the BCS was unable to make a clean cut through the Ultra Round packaging.
Dixon Ticonderoga HB 2 Soft (pencils) (cardboard)
Working with just cardboard was much more challenging. Without any plastic to make the package easier to move, like the first two, both the V5 and BCS has trouble opening the Ticonderogas.
The V5 did nearly nothing, struggling to tear off the angled corner of the inner packaging.
The BCS, on the other hand, was able to to tear apart the cardboard in a ghastly manner to the extent that I was somewhat surprised and in shock due to the sudden force once the seal was broke (see video for a visual).
What I Learned (And What You Should Know)
All in all, both the V5 and BCS worked fairly well to open the G-2, Ultra Round, and Ticonderogas. That being said, the V5 worked best to open the plastics and the BCS the cardboards.
From what I can tell, the above means that a finer nib (like the V5) works best on easily breakable surfaces (like plastic) and something more sturdy and thick (like the BCS) works best on tougher surfaces (like cardboard).
So, the next time you buy a package of pens (or pencils), make sure that you have a fine point nib or thick nib lying around, depending on if your new pens are sealed in plastic or cardboard.
If you have any questions about my recommendations of how to open packages of pens with other pens, please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter, @pensivepenner, or Instagram, @thepensivepenner. My Pinterest board can also be found under ThePensivePenner.
As always, I would love to hear suggestions from everyone about what the blog could be doing differently or better and what type of content people would like to see. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an exciting new post next week!